RFU to reward Pertemps Bees for Cup success

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The Independent Online

The Rugby Football Union yesterday decided to reward the Birmingham Pertemps Bees financially after their stunning defeat of Wasps in the quarter-finals of the Powergen Cup.

The part-timers from the Midlands did not expect to receive anything following Sunday's victory over the Premiership champions, because all the season's RFU prize-money was to be divided between the top-flight clubs based on league position and progress made in the cup.

However, following the Bees' 28-24 win, the RFU's community rugby and operations director, Terry Burwell, said: "Due to Birmingham Pertemps Bees' superb performance and their ongoing participation in the Powergen Cup, there is some doubt regarding their participation in the Powergen Shield."

The Shield is a four-team competition made up of the losers of the Powergen Cup quarter-finals, whose winners take home £30,000.

"Although we have not received a formal approach from Birmingham Pertemps Bees, we are actively looking at ensuring that they are not financially penalised for their participation in the Powergen Cup," Burwell continued.

Before yesterday's decision from the RFU, the Bees' director of rugby, Phil Maynard, said: "The ironic thing is we didn't get a penny for Sunday. There is no precedent for an FDR [First Division Rugby] club getting this far. It's cost us money because we are now out of the Shield semi-final, which we'd like to have won against Wakefield at home," he said. "That would have taken us to Twickenham and given us the opportunity to earn £30,000. But there's an anomaly occurred which we are making representations about to the RFU at the moment."

The Bees will now receive 40 per cent of gate takings from Sunday's match, and face Newcastle in the last four.

The former New Zealand forward Zinzan Brooke is relishing the prospect of coaching the Barbarians against Leicester in the NIG Challenge match tomorrow. The 39-year-old, capped 58 times by the All Blacks, also played three times for the Barbarians - twice against Leicester.

"Barbarians rugby is not really about structure, it's about instinct and combinations. The Barbarians like to play with great freedom," Brooke said.

The Baa-Baas squad includes Wales' points-scoring record holder Neil Jenkins, South Africa's Joost van der Westhuizen and the legendary Fijian Sevens player,Waisale Serevi.